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High Ammonia Levels

My father is a Cirrhosis and Hep C patient, was diagnosed about 4 years ago, he's been doing good for the past few years, been in and out the hospital here and there. The last 3 weeks he's been in the hospital constantly due to his liver failure.  He's in the hospital now, with ammonia levels at 400 and sodium levels really low.  What are the consequences of this, and what can happen to him? What are the treatments they can give him to help him?
2 Responses
163305 tn?1333672171
All I know is high ammonia levels are due to a condition called encephalopathy. Its caused by cirrhosis.
If your father is in the hospital he must have doctors who can tell  you more about his condition.
My guess is he may need a liver transplant.
Ask his doctor.
Avatar universal
Normav,
I'd encourage you to ask your father's doctors these questions.  I know it's often difficult to get them to spend 5 minutes with you answering questions in language that you understand, but insist on it.  
An ammonia level of 400 is extremely high.  If your father has been in the hospital for 3 weeks with liver failure and his ammonia is still this high, it sounds pretty grim to me.  Of course, I'm basing this on very limited information, and your father's doctors have the whole picture in front of them, so again, talk to them.  Ask them point blank, "do you think my father is about to die?'  
As stated above, high ammonia levels cause "encephalopathy", extreme lethary and confusion.  Usually a medication called Lactulose is given to lower ammonia (Lactulose is unpleasant, as it causes numerous bowel movements each day.)  
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